Hobbits don’t like sheep in their gardens. But how do you keep sheep out of a Hobbit’s garden without using conventional fencing?
That was the problem faced by the Gallagher crew when asked to provide a fencing solution for the Hobbiton Movie Set near Matamata. Part of the Alexander family’s 500ha sheep and beef farm, the set was a key location for the Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit movies. The rebuilt set, complete with hobbit holes, gardens, an inn and café, is now a popular tourist attraction.
Russell Alexander, General Manager of Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, says a crucial stage of the rebuilding project was stock-proofing Hobbiton’s boundary to prevent sheep from the farm from entering the 6ha site and damaging the landscaping. The rustic post and rail fences favoured by Hobbits were far from sheep-proof, so a key challenge was to secure the boundary fencing while preserving the character of the site.
Russell says Gallagher was asked to design a fencing system that was effective yet visually subtle. It was far from a typical job for Gallagher Territory Manager Martin Kinney.
He says the challenge was to incorporate a modern electric fencing solution that would completely blend in with the unique landscape on the film set. While measuring up the boundary he was conscious that treading damage to the long grass would be very noticeable. “I had to step very carefully so I didn’t leave footsteps.”
The fencing solution included attaching two hot wires to the rustic post and rail fence, with a third offset-mounted electric wire providing additional security. Gallagher was able to source camouflage-coloured offsets that blended in with the timber fence.
Two Gallagher MBX 2500 Energizers provide ample power to the fencing system which also features Electromax High Conductive Electric Fence Wire. Incorporating a highly advanced zinc-aluminium coating for superior corrosion resistance, Electromax provides up to 15% more conductivity than standard fencing wire. Russell Alexander is pleased with the finished result. The fencing is completely cattle and sheep proof and its visual appeal has been preserved. Gallagher has had a long association with the Alexander family and a significant amount of Gallagher technology is used on the farm.
“We use Gallagher products because Gallagher is a long-established and trusted company,” says Russell. He says the fencing project on Hobbiton was a challenging task, “but we knew Gallagher would listen to us and understand what we wanted”.